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Match Reports

Halifax 1-1 Notts

Late heartbreak at the Shay

17 November 2020

FC Halifax Town scored a 94th-minute equaliser to deny us victory at the Shay.

Elisha Sam had marked his first start with an early goal which, deep into second-half stoppage time, appeared to have been enough to earn us the three points.

But, in the dying seconds, Jamie Allen capitalised on a defensive error to earn his side a share of the spoils.

Sam lined up alongside Kyle Wootton at the top of a 4-4-2 formation, with Jim O'Brien, Jake Reeves, Michael Doyle and Enzio Boldewijn playing in behind them. A back four of Dion Kelly-Evans, Alex Lacey, Connell Rawlinson and Brindley protected goalkeeper Sam Slocombe.

Sam's first start couldn't have begun better as, with seven minutes on the clock, Reeves threaded a brilliant through ball into the area for the big forward to control and finish with aplomb.

Halifax were struggling to conjure a response and, shortly after an off-balance Jack Senior had scuffed his shot off-target, O'Brien and Boldewijn had shots blocked in quick succession as we went after a second goal.

1-0 was a precarious scoreline, however, and the hosts were left to rue an excellent piece of last-ditch defending from Brindley as half-time loomed - the full-back making a vital intervention in his own six-yard box to turn the ball behind.

Shortly before two additional minutes were indicated, Sam nearly repaid Reeves' favour with an incisive pass into the area but the midfielder couldn't quite bring it under control to get a shot away.

And that wasn't to be the final goalmouth action of the half as Slocombe was called upon to make an incredible reflex save from Kieran Green, getting his leg to the shot and somehow turning the ball on to the post to preserve our lead going into the break.

Neal Ardley made his first change during the interval, sending Ben Turner on for the injured Lacey.

And we were put under immediate pressure as Green raced on to an inviting ball over the top only to find Slocombe quick off his line to narrow the angle, forcing the Town man to shoot wide.

Luke Summerfield, who had fired a 25-yard free-kick over in the first half, followed up with another long-range effort, this time a first-time shot which went low through a crowd of bodies and into Slocombe's grateful grasp.

Cal Roberts replaced Sam in the 67th minute but it was a Halifax sub, Gevaro Nepomuceno, who would have the next meaningful shot as his effort from the edge of the area deflected narrowly wide of the post.

With 14 minutes to play, Reeves came agonisingly close to making it 2-0 with a long-range piledriver which was brilliantly tipped away from the top corner by Town keeper Sam Johnson.

Both sides then spurned huge chances to score the all-important next goal, Roberts rolling a shot wide after Reeves had burst through the middle moments before Nepomuceno side-footed the ball off-target from eight yards out.

It looked like the points were coming back to Meadow Lane when four added minutes were signalled at the end of the second half.

But, after we failed to retain possession high up the pitch, a defensive lapse from Turner presented Allen with the chance to race through and guide the ball past Slocombe to deal us a late, late sucker-punch.


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